Foreign commercial helicopter pilots needing to operate in Malaysia must now undergo special training and hold set minimum flight hours before being allowed to fly in the country.
Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) announced the new measures in early June as part of safety recommendations made by Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) Malaysia following the fatal crash of an Airbus Helicopters H125 in Batang Lupar, Sarawak in 2016.
The AAIB said the accident, which killed six people including a Malaysian Deputy Minister, was partly caused by bad weather and the Filipino pilot’s apparent unfamiliarity with local terrain.
Foreign commercial helicopter pilots must now hold a minimum of 1,000 hours flying helicopters and undergo 10 hours of local familiarisation flights in country before they can fly. For short-term contracts of less than three months, the DCA requires foreign pilots to have flown a minimum of 25 hours in the specific helicopter type within the past six months before they undergo a three-day induction course.
The DCA’s director general Dato’ Sri Azharuddin Bin Abdul Rahman said the directives, which come into force with immediate effect, would serve as a measure undertaken by DCA to address the safety recommendations made by AAIB and to prevent future accidents or incidents.
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